Women who want multiple children are faced with the question of how long they should wait until the next pregnancy. Now there are new insights.
How much distance should I keep between at least two pregnancies so that neither I nor my baby will be harmed? This is a particular question woman who starts late with family planning and then realizes that they would like to have more children. For these women, a new study by the Canadian University of British Columbia provides important information. Study leader Laura Schummers sums up the results:
Our study found an increased risk for both the mother and the baby when pregnancies are closely spaced.
Older mothers are at an increased risk of experiencing serious complications
The study, which looked at the outcome of more than 148,544 pregnancies, found that the risk for women over the age of 35 years to experience severe complications or even dying from recurrence after less than six months: 0, In 62 per cent of pregnancies the mother had serious health problems or even died before, during or shortly after birth.
With a break of at least 18 months between the birth of the last child and pre-pregnancy, the risk dropped to 0.26 percent.
Women under 35 carry the increased risk of miscarriage
For women between the ages of 20 and 34, the risks did not increase for themselves, but the dangers for the unborn child. At pregnancy intervals of less than six months, the probability of miscarriage or early miscarriage increased slightly (by 0.6 percentage points).
The researchers pointed out that the results are more relevant for the older mothers than for the younger ones because women over 35 years of age tend to have several children in quick succession because they are more under the pressure of the biological clock than younger women.
The recommendation: keep an 18-months distance
The recommendation, which can be derived from the study, reads: There are health reasons to keep a gap of 18 months between last birth and new pregnancy.
What are the reasons?
That’s exactly what has remained unclear. The researchers pointed out that poverty, incomplete prenatal care, lack of parental care and smoking were most prevalent among those mothers whose birth-to-re-pregnancy interval was less than six months. It is quite possible that factors such as these also influence the outcome of a pregnancy.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) even recommended in 2005 to keep at least 24 months between two pregnancies.